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Grappling with Automation

Posted on Wednesday February 16, 2022 @ 8:39am by Ewo’tOst Merrova [GM] & M'Riz & Madeleine De Saint Castine

Mission: Trouble on Carina VII
Location: Carina VII Orbit
Timeline: Present

Out on the edge of the Carina system a vessel decelerated from warp speed, the USS Cardinal had arrived. On her small bridge Ewo’tOst Merrova, began the usual approach procedures, with a few additions given the circumstances. “M’Riz, take us in at half impulse and transmit standard responses to their orbital approach challenges. Let me know if there are any anomalies that could be exploited by cloaked vessels.

"Aye, captain," M'Riz said, laying in the appropriate course while coordinating with the local orbital control approach challenges. "So far I'm not seeing anything in particular that could be exploited by cloaked ships if they are anywhere around here, but that may not mean much if that something is, say, on the opposite side of the planet from us at the moment."

“Trinity, hail their orbital and landing control, let’s be respectful, but I want to get people on the surface as expediently as possible”

“Maddie I know this is outside your regular duties.” Ewo began. “But a surface scan would be useful, if I could impose.”

Having taken to spending her spare time on the bridge when she could, Maddie nodded and activated the previously dark console in front of her. "Yes Ma'am," she said softly. While she wasn't perfectly confident with the consoles, she had been spending her evenings reading and learning, so she was able to help out here and there.

Returning her attention to the rapidly approaching world of Carina VII, Ewo considered her next move, three teams to three sites, gather as much additional data as possible, devise a solution. The first indication it would not be that simple was the Bolian head that filled each of the forward monitors, although they spoke with one voice.

=GOOD Morning! Welcome to Carina VII. Orbital processing would like to know the purpose for your visit. For business day business. For pleasure say pleasure. For all other reasons say other.=

Ewo looked back to Trinity with a slightly bemused look. “This is orbital control I take it?” she asked.

“The Cardinal is visiting under the authority of Starfleet science division.” Ewo began, but was interrupted. =For business say business, for pleasure say….= Ewo's turn to interrupt. “Other.”

=Verification will be required for unconventional visits,= the Bolian head cut in. =Which department should I direct you to?=

“Administration.” Ewo said with a degree of frustration. This was followed by a black screen with the word ‘connecting.’ “Now I remember why I dislike commercial or private dock controls,” she commented.

Maddie looked up from her console, tipping her head to one side, one long blonde braid falling down. "Was that even a real person?" she asked, confused by the whole interaction. "Or was that a holographic automation?"

"Automation I think. A lot of civilian settlements are using them, according to an older brother of mine, which I find a shame for reasons that are probably best gone into at another time." Ewo offered with a little bit of a sigh and a note of distain in her voice when on that topic. "Now we wait while they find a person to deal with us." Stepping back over to the rear of the small bridge, she placed a hand on the back of Maddie's chair. "Gives a little time, Trinity tie in with MRiz, I am curiosity if our arrival has been noted from watching eye?"

"Well, it may be nothing," M'Riz said, "but a Ferengi cargo ship a little ways away suddenly altered its course slightly while you were talking to Mr. Holo Head. It wasn't much - I probably wouldn't have even noted it if I hadn't been looking right at it when it happened - but it seemed unusual, as there was nothing else in the immediate vicinity of the ship that would warrant that kind of course setting. I'm sending the ship's coordinates to tactical now."

"See if you can get hold of its last few ports of call, if its a regular here it might be worth a closer look, if not, Flag it as a ship watch and forward the details to Starfleet ships in the sector." Ewo considered Ferengi might make a good go between particularly for a good payout, while being know to starfleet they would never turn down a good deal.

"What do we have with the surface scans Maddie, an EM filter on the affected field might throw something up? Our planetary specialist, Dr. Bacus pointed out it might be something to consider."

Maddie shook her head. "I don't know, I can't make heads or tails of what I'm reading on these sensor readings." She paused. "Captain, with your permission I'd like to go planetside? I spoke with some of the doctors from the medical facility earlier. I want to see their patients first hand, and, well, being down there will certainly make it easier to collect samples and work out what we're dealing with."

"That is my intention. We will have to go though the usual hoops, however." Ewo responded, already forming team in her mind, truth be told she had a number of ideas of who to send down and was only now finalising her choices when the screen flicked back on and the image of a well dressed Andorian male came into view. =Starfleet Vessel Cardinal. May I introduce myself? I am public administrator Mem'can.=

"Lieutenant Commander Ewo'tOst Merrova, pleased to make your acquaintance. I have been briefed on the situation affecting the colony, to further understand what is behind it and work towards a solution, we will need to come down and investigate. Can i have your cooperation in that matter?"

=Of course I understand the need to come on to the planet itself. However this is quite a delicate matter and with a mostly civilian population, can you assure me of a certain amount of discretion.=

"I am not about to start imposing curfews or random stop and search if that is what you mean." Ewo responded, more than a little disturbed by the request, and perhaps giving an exaggerated response. "But I do have orders to investigate the situation, which will involve my crew gathering evidence and following where the evidence takes us." After a rather extended pause the administrator enquired. "Very well, which areas will be visited initially? An aide can be provided if you wish." Ewo considered the offer and decided it might be another avenue of investigation. "One team will be sent to the agricultural area. One will be sent to the medical center. An aide will be agreeable at this stage. I will transmit our proposed coordinates shortly." The administrator simply nodded and them closed the channel.

"Well he seemed concerned about the wrong things, which makes me wonder if something else is going on. Okay as much as I would like too I should not go down at this stage so. Maddie and M'Riz, I would like you both to head to the medical center, Center team. Trinity escort Dr. Bacus to the agricultural area, Field team. I agreed to the aide as they may be aware of something that is going on, Trinity and M'Riz that is part of what I want you to do, while your respective specialists are gathering their information, look at what else does not fit. Then we can start to piece this together. Gather your equipment i would like you on the surface within the hour, first check in thirty minutes from beam down."

Maddie nodded, already heading for the turbolift. "Yes Captain," she said with a quick grin. "M'Riz, if you can spare 5 minutes in sickbay, I'd appreciate some help with packing for the trip."

"Absolutely," M'Riz said, ensuring that standard orbit was set in and that conn was set to automated before getting up. Hopefully they would soon figure out what was going on around here.

Soon enough Ewo was left on an empty bridge, she tapped over to the helm station, stood behind it resting both hands on the back of the chair, taking a long look at Carina VII through the forward viewports. Considering the prospects of what might be, she began to fret a little subconsciously at least, despite the competence in the people that had been sent. What would they find remained the big question.


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